Priam Corporation

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Priam Corporation was a company located in San Jose, California, founded in 1978 by William Schroeder and Al Wilson, two former Memorex executives, as a manufacturer of hard disk drives.[1][2] Originally, they made high-capacity 14-inch drives, developed for mainframe computers, available for mini-computers and high-end workstations,[2] but switched to 8-inch disk drives[2] in 1980.[3]

Priam harddisk 72 MB

Their 8-inch harddisks could be found in a wide variety of add-on products like the huge Mator Shark box with IEEE-488 interface for Commodore PET/CBM computers[4] or the Priam DataTower series, external storage solutions, combining high-capacity hard disks and streamers in a single case, which could interface to various computers including IBM PCs.[5]

While Priam was considered a leader in certain technology segments at one time,[6] they were late catching up in the transition to the 5.25-inch form factor[2] and were ultimately one of the many hard drive manufacturers in the 1980s and 1990s that went out of business, merged, or closed their hard drive divisions; as a result of capacities and demand for products increased, and profits became hard to find.

In 1985, Priam dropped their own 5.25-inch drive in-house development and merged with Vertex Peripherals, a company competing in the market for 5.25-inch drives.[2]

In the mid-1980s Priam's InnerSpace series offered fully integrated disk drive solutions to overcome disk capacity limitations imposed by MS-DOS prior to the release of version 3.31/4.0. This included custom hard disk controllers (based on Western Digital designs) as well as dedicated software for formatting (PFMT.EXE) and partitioning (EDISK.EXE). PFMT.EXE placed a driver EVDR.SYS into the root directory of the boot volume. This was used by DOS to retrieve drive and partitioning information located in the last 12 KB of the disk. Priam's EDISK also used dedicated MBR partition IDs 0x45 and 0x5C. Solutions were offered for DOS, NetWare, Unix and Pick.[7]

Priam opened a manufacturing facility in Taiwan in 1987 to move the production of 5.25-inch drives there.[6][2][8][9]

After having suffered losses since 1985,[2] the company declared bankruptcy in 1989.[10] It was re-established with the help of external investors as Priam Systems Corp. in 1990,[7] led by Wil Cochran as president and Dick Reiser, a founder of Priam, as vice-president.[7] Finally, the disk drive business was sold to Prima International of Santa Clara, California, a computer peripherals VAR, in 1991.[11] Service was provided by Sequel.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Santarelli, E. (1995). Finance and Technological Change: Theory and Evidence. Palgrave Macmillan UK / Springer. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-230-37503-1. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Sylvester, David (1987-02-17), "Priam moves offshore in bid for survival", Maritime News, retrieved 2017-03-28 
  3. ^ "1979: Hard disk diameter shrinks to eight inches - The Storage Engine". Computer History Museum. Archived from the original on 2017-03-30. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  4. ^ Naberezny, Mike. "Mator Shark Hard Drive". Archived from the original on 2017-03-30. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  5. ^ "Priam 7050 Hard Drives and Apollo DN300 shoeboxes". VeryComputer. 1991-03-31. Archived from the original on 2017-03-30. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  6. ^ a b McKendrick, David (November 1997). "Sustaining Competitive Advantage in Global Industries: Technological Change and Foreign Assembly in the Hard Disk Drive Industry". The Information Storage Industry Center, Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California. Report 97-06. Archived from the original on 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2011-08-03. The HDD landscape became littered with the graves of once prominent American companies. Priam, Prairietek, Conner Peripherals, MiniStor and Hewlett-Packard were all leaders at one time or another in certain market segments or technologies. 
  7. ^ a b c "Priam Add-On Disk Division reborn as Priam Systems". Computer Business Review (1420). 1990-05-08. 
  8. ^ Amano, Tomofumi (2005). "5.". Higashi Ajia No Kokusai Bungyo ̄ To Nihon Kigyo ̄: Aratana Kigyo ̄ Seicho ̄ He No Tenbo ̄ [East Asian Linkage and Japanese Firms: A New Perspective of Corporate Growth] (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Yuhikaku. 
  9. ^ Amano, Tomofumi, "Competitive Strategy of Global Firms and Industrial Clusters - Case Study on the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Industry" (PDF), GRIPS/MMRC Joint Symposium (report), Faculty of Business Administration, Hosei University / Manufacturing Management Research Center, University of Tokyo, archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-03-28, retrieved 2017-03-28 
  10. ^ "Disk drive maker Priam hits skids". Newsbytes. 1989-11-07. 
  11. ^ "Prima acquires Priam Systems' disk storage line". Newsbytes. 1991-05-29. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • "Priam". Hardware Collection (in Chinese and English). Archived from the original on 2017-03-28. Retrieved 2017-03-28.  (NB. An (incomplete) list of hard disk drives produced by Priam.)